Friday, June 18, 2010

Shifting focus, A tale of a clyde and his 1988 something like that.

Though I have not been on game lately with my calories and exercise I have been staying on my bike and I am starting to realize that I enjoy riding my bike as much as I enjoy anything. Now I know this is not really a bike kind of blog but biking plays a HUGE role in why I am where I am with my health and weight loss today so veering into a project that I picked up isn't really that off the beaten path. A while back I picked up a bike on Craigslist for a great price, the title of the post was "Specialized Rockhopper comp FREE" and when I saw that there was no way I could let an old Rockhopper not be mine for that price. When I got to the owners house I then saw how much worse the bike looked in person than in the picture that was posted but she was mine at that point and off we went home with the dirty ol girl and into the shed it went. Yesterday I had an hour and a half to myself and decided to wash it up and check out where we stood on the real condition of the bike and after a good bath it actually looks pretty good.

The bike is a 1988 Specialized Rockhopper comp which is a fact that I found out with some research and it is adorned with all Shimano Deore components that are all in good working condition. I will need to replace the shifter cables and possibly the brake cables though the brake cables look like they were recently replaced so I may leave those alone, it will need tires, tubes and possibly a chain though I am going to try and rehab the chain that is on there now. I snapped a few pictures of the bike post scrubbing and was actually considering making a blog for the project to chronicle in detail how its coming along but I might just do it here instead, anyways here are a couple of the photos.

This is the day that I brought it home, check out that rear cassette in this image and then the next one, I wish that I had taken more close ups before washing it.

A side shot post wash, the pictures do not do justice to the difference from before to after, I think when I get new tires on it that it will look awesome.

Front shot, You can see the difference in the wheels in this one, they look almost new close up after the scrubbing they got.

Here is a shot of the biopace crank which looks a lot better than it did, I am planning on doing a more in depth cleaning but even with just a wash there is a big difference.

Finally a look at the Cassette and you can see part of the rear derailleur and how clean it came out.

After washing it up I noticed that a lot of the chrome bits had some surface rust on them and I started researching how to remove said rust, I found lots of different methods posted by lots of different people but I found one that I had all of the stuff on hand so I tried it. It was said that using some crumpled up aluminum foil with some automotive polish/rubbing compound should take the rust off but leave the chrome alone as the foil is softer than the chrome, I was skeptical that this would work but to my amazement it had incredible results! The seat post had a section at the top where it was pretty rusty (more so than the images above show) and the clamp to hold the seat post was also rusty and now they both look great.

This clamp looks like new after polishing with the compound and aluminum foil and I am planning on doing some more of the small parts this afternoon.

This is the polished seat post and you can see the damage to the upper part where the rust was, it shows up in the photo much more than with the naked eye because it looks almost perfect in person, either way I am pleased with how it came out.

I did adjust the seat and filled the tires with air to see how everything functioned but the bike will need two tubes as they leaked out pretty fast but I did get to ride a short distance which was long enough to find out that it shifts and brakes as it should. I am trying to refurbish this bike as cheap as possible but am willing to drop a few bucks into making it function and look good, New tires and tubes will probably be next on the list. I may just swap the Kenda Klaws that are currently on my K2 onto this bike as I was planning on changing to a more road friendly tread on that bike anyways so tubes will really be the only thing that will be bought to complete that part of the project. Hopefully I can save the chain that is on there now, it moves freely except in one spot where it binds slightly but I am hoping that some elbow grease and oil can work that out for me, a new chain is only about $15 so its not too bad even if it does end up needing to be replaced.

The paint has a lot of small chips in it pretty much everywhere, I do like the paint scheme and there is something cool to me in keeping the original paint job on an older bike like this but I haven't decided whether I will repaint it or just touch up the chips. The decals are in ok shape though they could use some love and ultimately decal condition may determine the bikes future in the looks department. I was thinking of an olive drab paint job on the entire frame with a flat white star somewhere and maybe "no step" in a pseudo military theme leaving all of the chrome and aluminum parts alone besides polishing them up a bit while the black parts stay black but like I mentioned I am not sure just yet, opinions would be great.

With everything that's happening right now in the stress department taking on this little project that I had hanging in the basement is taking my mind off of things and well, I'll take it. I am back to counting the calories and am heading out shortly for a bike ride with the kids as school is over so getting to the gym will be a tad harder and the bike will be my go to for exercise for at least a while until I figure out a compromise with a sitter. I will keep updating the status of this bike in this blog and may still create a specific blog for that project but that's to be found out I mean if I am finding it hard to update here lately imagine if I had two to update.

Keep on keepin on and all that and I'll do the same, that's all I got for today.

As Ever


  1. She's a beauty! From one Clyde to another, I loved reading about the care you are taking to restore this old girl and I encourage you to keep blogging about it. Have fun!

  2. I too like biking AND weight loss, so I would like reading about the bike project. It's giving me ideas. Glad to hear your tone be upbeat! Happy weekend!

  3. nice bike :) and great price whooohooo I love recycling stuff.